Stop and search powers ruled illegal

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that sweeping powers allowing police to stop and search people without having grounds of suspecting their involvement in terrorism are illegal, reports The Times.  The paper goes on to explain that Judges at the court in Strasbourg made their unanimous decision in a case involving two people stopped near an arms fair in east London in 2003.

While this is a small victory for individual freedom from the state, this case should never have needed to go before a foreign court.  This country should have its own written constitution and convention of rights.  The domestic justice system in the UK should be sovereign and it should be sufficiently robust to strike down legislation such as Section 44 of the Terrorism 2000 Act, elements of which infringe our civil rights and do not provide adequate safeguards from abuse.

The Labour government, in its hyperactive determination to create laws so as to appear to be ‘doing something’ about terrorist threats and criminality, has been guilty of drafting appalling legislation.  Many of the Bills it has enacted are unnecessarily intrusive and have conferred excessive powers on the police and civil servants that are open to a wide range of interpretations.  So it is no surprise that some officials take advantage of this and wield their power in an inappropriate manner.

In matters of law and order, people should be free to do anything that is not illegal.  But this government is trying to reverse that state of affairs by steadily making illegal actions for which people have not been granted express permission.  It is unacceptable and people need to oppose such draconian and repressive measures.

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2 Responses to “Stop and search powers ruled illegal”


  1. 1 jameshigham 12/01/2010 at 3:52 pm

    It’s going to take quite some time to repeal all these appalling laws but I don’t think it will be David Cameron who does it. I see a hung parliament, nominally Cameron’s way but the socialists will pick holes in him under new leadership. They’ve already been running door leafleted referenda themselves in Labour constituencies to be able to hold up to him – watch if Labour in opposition don’t call for a referendum.

  2. 2 AM 12/01/2010 at 4:22 pm

    The sad thing is it could easily be avoided if Cameron listened to voters and offered what they’re looking for in a government. If things backfire for the Tories then Cameron will only have himself to blame.


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